CBS Outdoor is beaming in Calgary

The media co is promoting the province's Comic and Entertainment Expo with transit shelter boards that use augmented reality.

CBS Outdoor has taken a cue from Star Trek and created and placed two transit shelter boards in Calgary that use augmented reality (AR) technology to “beam up” those who stand in front of it.

The creative for the boards was developed by the CBS marketing department, with the AR app developed by Toronto-based agency E-axis, to promote the 2012 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Michele Erskine, director of marketing, CBS Outdoor Canada, tells MiC that flying ships and planets coming out of the boards was another idea that came out of their brainstorming session for an AR execution. But the team decided to go with the concept of “beaming up,” which plays off of how Captain Kirk is transported to and from the Starship Enterprise in the series, as they felt the Expo crowd would get a real kick out of it.

While this isn’t the first time that CBS Outdoor has seen the technology used on its boards (Volkswagen played with AR for the launch of its 2012 Beetle in Canada), Erskine says that this is the first time that the media company has initiated an AR campaign, allowing its marketing department to really get their hands on the tech.

“We thought this would be a good idea given the content and the people going to the Expo,” she says. “[And AR] has great legs, it’s relatively easy to do, it works beautifully with outdoor and there has been a lot of interest.”

Since the boards were made specifically for the Expo crowd and science-fiction enthusiasts, CBS Outdoor will also place the AR creative at the event which takes place at the BMO Centre in Calgary from April 27 to 29.